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Sandra Dufour

University of Burgundy (Dijon, France)
Women in Sport in the United States : The Struggle Against Sexual Discrimination, Title IX and the Role of Feminist Orga
Women in Sport in the United States : The Struggle Against Sexual Discrimination, Title IX and the Role of Feminist Orga
Signed into law in 1972, Title IX created major changes in the education system such that women and girls found new opportunities both in classrooms and on athletic fields. The law famously states:_x000D_
“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance…” — United States Code Section 20, sec. 1681. _x000D_
Interestingly, although Title IX is best known for its impact on high school and collegiate athletics, the original statute made no explicit mention of sports. Still, we know that in the days before Title IX, only one in 27 girls played varsity high school sports. Since its enactment, however, female high school athletic participation has increased by 904 percent, according to the Women’s Sports Foundation. _x000D_
Diverse as the recollections are, they suggest that inequality is still widespread in high school athletics. Though progress is evident, a very focused and determined effort by the U.S. Department of Education, state governments and local school districts still needs to be made to assure equal access. It will soon be 40 years since Title IX was enacted, and even now we see case after case being filed for blatant sex discrimination in high school athletics._x000D_
This paper aims at analyzing the background of Title IX enactment, its challenges and how feminist organizations, such as the National Organization for Women, struggled throughout the 1970s not only to make it enforced but also to replay to bodies and organizations which challenge its legality. 47 years after its enactment, what the consequences had been so far for girls and women in various sports, through statistics and testimonies?